Is John Boehner serious about repealing Obamacare?
The Washington Times headline caught my eye yesterday. Could it be true? “Boehner vows House will repeal Obamacare.”
The problem is the content of the story didn’t seem quite as robust as the headline:
He did, however, say the House will vote to repeal Obamacare and will also likely pass a bunch of bills to carve out some of the most contentious parts such as a tax on medical devices or the individual mandate.
“We need to put them on the president’s desk and let him choose,” the speaker said.
Promising to let Congress vote about the issue is not quite the same thing as a vow to repeal the Affordable Care Act. That is especially true when the alternative of cutting “some of the most contentious parts” is also raised as a goal. If you are going to completely abolish something, you don’t have to worry about abolishing parts of it.
Still this is a stronger position than I have expected to hear from Republican leadership. At least Boehner did not fall all over himself to promise not to touch Obamacare. Keep in mind that, with Obama having the power of the veto, it may be impossible to get rid of Obamacare until 2016. But at least Boehner has begun a public discussion about it.
Whether Boehner expects the Affordable Care Act to really be abolished or not, he has given conservatives an invitation to write and call both the House of Representatives and the Senate in order to get them to do everything possible to do away with the Affordable Care Act. Even if his expectations are low, he may be surprised.
While I don’t know how accurate they are, other news sources also give me reason to hope. I especially like the Wall Street Journal’s headline: “John Boehner Strikes Combative Tone.” That’s a completely appropriate tone for him to strike. It is sad that it is so uncommon.